Dubrovnik style Easter eggs

Easter in Dubrovnik – values that live on

“No, don’t break it…it’s beautiful,” I gasped in amazement at the scene in front of me. Easter in Dubrovnik is a time of traditions, a time of family and a time of fresh beginnings. It feels like a new chapter, a page has been turned, and yet the culture of the past is respected. Value is the key word. It is also a great time to visit Dubrovnik; it really feels like you are at the start of something special.

Easter isn’t really just a day, although Easter Sunday is the height of the celebrations, there is a week of events to experience. Which is how I came to be feeling sorry for an egg? One of the many traditions of Easter in Dubrovnik is painted eggs. Now I am not talking about whitewashed eggs in one colour, no far from it, these are tiny masterpieces. Incredibly decorated eggs with pictures, scenes and even messages displayed on them, pure miniature works of art.

Children at school, grandparents at home and even companies produce their own hand-decorated eggs. Some carry messages like, “Bless you this Easter,” and all of them are glorious. After so much time and effort has been put into painting them they are broken, egg on egg in a kind of conker competition. However if you are lucky enough to be in Dubrovnik for the Easter period then it is your job to save a few, what a perfect and unique souvenir. I have a few tucked away.

Easter at the Kazbek, Dubrovnik

Easter atmosphere at Boutique Hotel Kazbek

You have to try some of the delicacies at Easter time, such as the special cake that is made, Pinca, we love it. And don’t be surprised if you see palm decorations everywhere, on Palm Sunday it is traditional to take plaited palm leaves to church. But it isn’t only in church that you’ll see these plaited palm leaves, every home and shop will proudly have palm decorations on show.

Often tourists will ask about the special celebrations and traditions in Dubrovnik for Easter, they are fascinated that these customs are still alive and kicking. The idea of just giving out chocolate Easter eggs still hasn’t invaded Dubrovnik’s culture. And as the weather breaks, the sun stays longer in the blue sky and the nature can almost be heard awakening it is truly an inspirational time to visit Dubrovnik.

Discover the beauties and the values that make Dubrovnik a unique city to be in, and these very values are highlighted the most at Easter time. Make your own Easter memories in Dubrovnik…and save a few eggs as a memento.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Discover the beauties and the values that make Dubrovnik a unique city to be in

St. Blaise's Procession through Dubrovnik Old City

Feel the soul of Dubrovnik on the Day of Saint Blaise

Christmas, Easter, New Year…yes they are all important and rightly have their place on the Dubrovnik calendar. However, there is one day in Dubrovnik that puts all these in the shadow, the Day of St. Blaise. To start to explain the significance of St. Blaise for Dubrovnik and its citizens would…well let’s just say that you could fill a novel. Here is a brief story on why the people of Dubrovnik love their patron saint. You will often hear that St. Blaise, or St. Vlaho as he is locally known, is known as the protector of Dubrovnik, there is a reason behind that.

Dubrovnik by night, st. Blaise church

St. Blaise church in Dubrovnik Old City

The year was 971 and Venetian war galleons had dropped anchor near Dubrovnik and requested to stock up their ships with water and supplies. It looked harmless but was the cover for a cunning plan to capture the city. The Venetians used the opportunity to spy on the city’s defences for an upcoming attack. This is where the hero of the story, St. Blaise, enters. Realising the Venetians plan St. Blaise warned the priests of St. Stephens Church who rang their bells to alert the city of the attack. The plan, almost a Trojan Horse style plan, had failed, Dubrovnik was a still a free independent state. Since that time the day of St. Blaise, the 3rd of February, has been marked in Dubrovnik, to remember the saint who saved the city.

St. Blaise procession takes place through streets of Dubrovnik Old City, Croatia

St. Blaise Feast

To be in Dubrovnik for the Day of St. Blaise is indeed an honour. It is a time that Dubrovnik and its citizens treasure traditions and join together in a spirit of celebration. Banners, flags, sacral decorations and costumes fill the Old City, Dubrovnik pulls out all the stops when the Day of St. Blaise come around. It is a time that you can feel the true soul of the city. Once you have experienced on the Day of St. Blaise you will never look at Dubrovnik with the same eyes ever again. Traditional meals are served and whole families make the pilgrimage to the Stradun in the heart of the Old City dressed in their “Sunday best,” this is a time to show respect to Dubrovnik’s protector.

Although it is not a national state holiday it certainly is a holiday in Dubrovnik, and rightly so. It is truly a privilege to be in Dubrovnik on the 3rd of February, away from the summer sunshine, and yet bathed in a warm glow.

 

St. Blaise church, Dubrovnik Old City

Stained glass windows on St. Blaise church (photo source Flickr

 

Aerial Dubrovnik

A memento of your time in Dubrovnik – the perfect souvenir

Wherever you visit a foreign destination, especially for the first time, a keepsake of your visit in the form of a souvenir is a must. Faced with a plethora of choices, and yet wanting to find that certain special memory of Dubrovnik, souvenir hunting is no easy matter. You might be looking for the right gift for a loved one or a suitable memento to bring back happy memories of your holiday. Whatever your reason it is always a dilemma, and of course you want to find something that is authentic and representative of Dubrovnik…now the choice becomes even harder. Dubrovnik and Croatia have many traditional souvenirs that are of a high quality and indigenous to the area. To help you along the way we have searched through the current souvenir offer and have come up with our list of recommendations…here they are.

Fine local wines

Croatian wines certainly belong to some of the best wines in the world. Croatia boasts more than 300 geographically-defined wine regions which produce 67 percent white, 32 percent red and the remaining 1 percent rose wines. Why not pick up a local bottle of fine wine as a great souvenir. Famous wines include Dingac and Postup from the Peljesac Peninsula, then there are Posip and Grk from Korcula; Marastina from the island of Lastovo or a nice Malvasija Dubrovacka from Konavle.

Red and white wine

Wines of Dubrovnik region

Embroidery from Konavle  

The embroidery from Konavle is certainly an authentic gift from this region. It is a skill and an art that has been handed down from generation to generation; there is love and history in this embroidery. The design is strictly symmetric and tends to feature red, black, yellow and dark green colours, in fact these colours are all natural, they are dyed using the land and all it offers. Why not take a trip out to Konavle to find the perfect piece, a great day out and a unique souvenir.

Traditional souvenirs

Traditional Konavle embroidery

Olive oil

The growth of the region, the successes and battles over the centuries has all been closing connected to the olive tree. Olive oil is quite simply a vital part of all meals in Dubrovnik, a meal without wine and olive oil just isn’t a meal! From larger concerns to small family businesses there are plenty of choices. And once you have tasted olive oil from Dubrovnik there is no going back.

Sweet delights

Candied almonds, candied orange peel and quince cheese are quite possibly three sweet delights that you have never come across before, they are however quintessentially Dubrovnik! All are handmade and all have their special place on the tables of Dubrovnik during special occasions. You can find decorative arrangements of these delicacies in better souvenir shops of the city. And as they keep well you can plan your own “Dubrovnik Christmas” with an array of traditional sweets.

Sweet delight from Croatia

Candied orange peels

Something special for the culture vultures

A piece of fine art by a local artist, there are many interesting art galleries inside the ancient city walls. Or a hand crafted stone article from the few remaining stone masons in the Dubrovnik region…although nothing to heavy, you’ll have to carry it home. Or maybe a delicate piece of jewellery from one of the goldsmiths…we would recommend earrings from Konavle. There is something for everyone, just make sure that it is authentic.

These are a few of our recommendations, we haven’t included all of the souvenirs from Dubrovnik just the ones that are close to our hearts. If you want to know which stores offer authentic Dubrovnik souvenirs then look for the sign “Authentic Croatian” on the shop window.

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Good Friday Procession in Dubrovnik

Today is Good Friday and following an old tradition, there is a procession in Dubrovnik Old City. It starts from the Cathedral of Mary’s Assumption through Od Puca Street and continues along main Stradun street. 

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Procession starts from Dubrovnik cathedral

Dubrovnik’s bishop carries the relic of the True Cross. It is the name for physical remnants which, by a Christian tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. This relic together with 132 other relics of saints are treasured in the Cathedral Treasury and is open daily for visitors.

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Bishop carries relic of the True Cross

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Procession in front of Franciscan monastery

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Priests and monks in procession

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Good Friday procession in Dubrovnik

Perfect vacation in Dubrovnik

Based on our local knowledge and experience, this is what we recommend as your perfect vacation in Dubrovnik. No matter if you are staying here a weekend or the entire week, all your days can be filled with great activities, visits to picturesque historical towns or amazing natural sites.

ARRIVAL

After landing at Dubrovnik airport, you will enjoy less than 30 min scenic drive to Dubrovnik center.

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Make sure to book a window seat when flying to Dubrovnik

The afternoon activities will depend on the season, type of the accommodation and weather conditions, so you will probably enjoy one of the following activities: relaxation at your hotel or villa pool, maybe nearby beach or orientation tour of Dubrovnik Old City.

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Boutique Hotel Kazbek pool area

4 - Villa Franica Pool

Luxury Villa Franica pool

DAY 2

Morning: visit of UNESCO protected Dubrovnik Old City including 2 km long City Walls (or at least its southern part). If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you can join tours that will take you to the filming locations of this mega-popular TV show.

Afternoon: don’t miss a short boat ride to Lokrum island (small and quiet island with many beaches (mostly rocky), botanical garden, walking paths, restaurant…)

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Lokrum island

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Crystal clear sea on Lokrum island

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You will be welcomed by Peacocks on Lokrum island

As a highlight of the day, take a cable car from Dubrovnik Old City to the top of the Srd hill and enjoy breathtaking views of entire Dubrovnik region, Adriatic sea, Elafiti islands. The sunset from here is simply amazing.

OTHER ACTIVITIES 

FULL DAY EXCURSIONS:

Elafite islands – a group of 13 islands and islets with small historical and picturesque villages, natural sites, beaches.

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Elafite islands activities

Mljet – definitely most beautiful Croatian National park and greenest island in the Adriatic. This is the place where you go to enjoy untouched nature and exceptional peacefulness.

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Islet with Benedictine monasery on Mljet lake

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Mljet lake

 

 

Korcula island and Peljesac peninsula – on the way to Korcula island which is believed to be a birthplace of Marco Polo, the drive will take you through the small town of Ston, a historical place town with 5km long city walls (second by longness in the World after China wall). This is also the place where top quality oysters are cultivated so don’t miss a chance to stop by at one of the restaurants for tasting. The drive continues then along the Peljesac peninsula, famous Croatian vineyard area so it is a must to visit some of the wineries and taste their great wines (particularly Dingac).

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Peljesac vineyards

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Oyster cutivation in Ston

Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – not even 2 hours of drive from Dubrovnik, this is the place where so many cultures and religions left their traces, but most visible ones are from the time of Ottoman empire. The symbol of this interesting town is UNESCO protected Old Bridge. This tour can be combined with the visit of Medjugorje, one of the most famous pilgrimage places in the Catholic world.

Montenegro – our neighbouring country situated not even one hour drive from Dubrovnik. you will be amazed by its historical beauties and incredible natural contrasts.

ACTIVE HOLIDAYS:

DEPARTURE

If you are flying back from Dubrovnik airport, a visit to the small seaside town of Cavtat is a must. It is located in between the magic city of Dubrovnik on one side and beautiful Konavle on the other. There one can still feel the spirit of the past time and experience the centuries old tradition of our ancestors. It is also possible to arrange the boat transfer from Dubrovnik to Cavtat and then not more than 5 min car drive to Dubrovnik airport.

CAVTAT BY NIGHT

Cavtat by night

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Cavtat

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Cavtat